Golf

Overton holds onto his lead

2010-08-01 15:10
Jeff Overton (AFP)

White Sulphur Springs - American Jeff Overton fired a four-under par 66 to remain in the lead after Saturday's third round of the US PGA Greenbrier Classic despite a pair a low-shooting rivals.

Compatriots D.A. Points and J.B. Holmes flirted with historic rounds of 59 before faltering at the finish, Holmes completing a 10-under 60 with Points on 61, as Overton enjoyed a three-stroke edge through 54 holes on 18-under 192.

Overton, who began the day four strokes ahead, struggled at the start with birdies at the second and fifth, pulled one back with a birdie at the par-3 eighth, then birdied five of six holes starting at the 12th.

"It was kind of brutal there at the start. I was not quite in my element," Overton said. "You have got to hang in there tough mentally and I was able to hang in there."

Overton is seeking his first PGA title in a season that has seen him record four top-five finishes. Points also seeks his first tour crown.

Points was second on 195 with Boo Weekley third, five strokes off the pace after a third-round 67, and Holmes joining countrymen Jimmy Walker, Jonathan Byrd and Zimbabwe's Brendon de Jonge on 198.

The low rounds showed Overton, who fired a 62 on Friday, that his lead is far from safe.

"If you get it going you can really go low out here and somebody back there behind me is going to go nuts tomorrow," Overton said. "I'm going to have to come out and play well and have a lot of fun. We will see what happens."

Points opened and closed the front nine with birdies and birdied four holes in a row starting at the fourth to begin his surge. He added birdies at the 10th and par-5 12th, sank a 20-foot birdie at 13 and a 12-foot birdie at 16.

That put visions of a record-tying 59 or better into his mind.

"I was trying really hard not to think about it," Points said. "If I'm going to try shooting 59, playing great, I'm going to go down trying, not laying up."

That's what Points did at 17, taking a bogey six when a five-footer for par lipped out as he "tentatively wacked it around the green three times".

"It was a lot of fun," Points said. "I got a little nervous coming down the stretch. When I got in that bunker at 17, I got nervous. I didn't want to get too greedy. There's still a tournamwent to be won."

Points missed an 18-footer for birdie at 18 but tapped in a par from four feet to close on 61.

"We all have opportunity for stuff like this," Points said. "There has been a couple guys, and there's going to be somebody (Sunday) that will probably have an opportunity."

Holmes opened with a birdie but took his lone bogey at the third, then answered with birdies at four, five, seven and nine. He then birdied three of the first four on the back nine and closed with three birdies in a row.

After making the cut on the number, Holmes liked his chances of repeating the feat that Sweden's Carl Pettersson achieved last week, making the cut on the number but rallying at the weekend to win.

"You know, it's possible," Holmes said. "Maybe I get hot two days in a row and shoot 60-60."

The only 59s in US PGA history were all by US players - Al Geiberger in 1977, Chip Beck in 1991, David Duval in 1999 and Paul Goydos just three weeks ago at the John Deere Classic.

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